APRIL FOOLS! Thanks, as always, to those who played along without revealing the joke! The following is the 2019 April Fools’ Day prank article as it appeared that morning. Check out the bottom of the post for a fun contest in the comments – you could win up to $33 in Amazon gift card money (no foolin’!).
Food: it unites us, but it also divides us. Nothing has spawned more internet arguments, magazine articles, talk-show debates, and Nightline specials than what it is we should be eating.
I’m not here to claim that I have all the answers, and I’m not a nutritionist, a medical doctor, or a dietician. But what I do have is the proof inside the pudding: my savings increased by nearly $40,000 in one year, while I had an infant at home, while I was on maternity leave, and without me ever having made more than $60,000/year.
Since writing that post, I’ve had a lot of questions about what, exactly, happened that year.
The biggest change? My diet changed drastically.
2017: Eating for Three
Before 2017, my husband and I were eating a mostly unprocessed, whole foods, plant-heavy diet. We weren’t following any specific fad diet or meal plan, just simply avoiding processed foods as much as possible and trying to eat lots of fruits and veggies. This was a pretty healthy diet for our bodies, but we weren’t seeing growth in our savings the way we would have liked.
But in 2017, with the new baby in the house and me working from home 90% of the year, things changed. We gave in to a lot more prepared and processed foods, for convenience. And these foods aren’t necessarily cheaper, like you might expect. Rather, we spent quite a bit more on food, as some of the foods we now eat are on the pricier side. And I was breastfeeding, so I was eating so much more. I swear, I ate twice as much while breastfeeding as I did while pregnant. Total carbo-load.
But it’s not about how much the foods cost, it’s about the mindset that you get when you eat them.
You are what you eat, and you are what you think. (I think, therefore I am!) Therefore, what you eat is how you think.
Eat the right things, and you can put yourself in the right mindset to earn, save, and invest well.
Eat the wrong things? Your money will flow away from you like useless, calorie-free water.
Introducing: The FIet
The FIet (short for the “Financial Independence Diet”) is not like other diets. First of all, there are no “don’t eats” on the FIet. The idea is not to cut anything out, but to eat so much of the good stuff that you don’t have any room for anything else. That way, you don’t have to remember the things you can’t have, just gorge yourself on the stuff you should have. Easy peasy lemon squeezie! (But lemon squeezies aren’t on the list, sorry.)
Also, the FIet has nothing to do with weight loss. In fact, there are a lot of carbs in it. (Again, this started when I was breastfeeding!) It’s up to you to manage which items you eat more or less of, with your own research and the help of your doctor.
(Reminder: always consult with your doctor before beginning any new diet, especially the FIet! Even if you have plenty of extra money for medical bills, it sucks to have to take money out of your Health Savings Account, so make sure you get your doctor’s sign-off, first.)
Finally, the foods I list here for the FIet are not an exhaustive list. My family has a lot of food allergies and intolerances, so there may be more caffeinated items, egg dishes, and nuts that would work for the FIet, I just haven’t tested a lot of those things. If you feel something is missing from your life, try adding it back in slowly to your FIet list, and see what results you get. Just don’t blame me if you go off book and end up with an empty wallet!
Foods Included in the FIet:
Beans and rice (obviously)
Beef ragout with cheese soufflé
Chicken à la King
Alaskan king crab
Chocolate Schnecken (German cinnamon buns)
Copious meat skewers, mushroom skewers, and fried wild greens
Portion bread (bonus: this is a microwave-in-a-mug recipe that cooks in less than a minute, so quick, easy, and cheap!)
Chicken Paillard (well tenderized)
Cricket protein (Chirps Chips were my gateway, but their cookies are where it’s really at! I’ve tried to do a from-scratch version but I can’t get them as good as the mix from their site, yet.)
Strawberry mango shakes
Chicken drumsticks (after midnight)
Swenson’s ice cream. (Flavors I’ve had success with: Pralines & Cream, Mississippi Mud, Chocolate Eruption, Apple, Grape, and Super-Duper Chocolate Eruption.)
Sweetum’s Sugar Splash (Child Size only)
Cram & Dandy Boy Apples
Tummy Tingling Tuchanka Sauce from Fishdog Food Factory
Cheesy Blasters (Thanks, Meat Cat!)
Anything eaten at Elevensies, but especially potatoes, tomatoes, sausages, and nice crispy bacon
Brawndo (it’s got electrolytes!)
How the FIet Changes Your Money Mindset
It may seem crazy to think that just eating the foods above changed my mindset so much that I was able to increase my savings by almost $40,000 in a year. But, it’s really not. So how does it work?
I don’t know.
Maybe it’s like The Secret, and it’s the abundance attitude eating these foods has given me. Maybe there’s just so much food science in this list, that I’m getting smarter via science osmosis. Or maybe, it’s just the right mix of fuel to keep a person going on .3 hours of sleep per night. (Sleep when the baby sleeps = great advice!)
All I know is, this is what I eat, and I’m on my way to being super duper rich… so there.
Photo credits: Mark DeYoung, itkannan4u, Amazon, Mean Girls, 30 Rock
APRIL FOOLS! Now, time for the contest!
The person who comments on this post correctly identifying the source (reference) of the most foods from this list gets an Amazon gift card! $1 per correctly identified food reference, so that’s a $33 Amazon gift card to the first person who gets them all right!
If no one gets them all within one week (by noon ET, April 8th), the person with the most correct answers gets the gift card.
I will reply to comments with the score (# of correctly identified references) but I will NOT tell you which ones were right or wrong.
The only person not allowed to participate is my husband, who overheard half the answers while I was writing. You’re disqualified, sweetie.
This is hard! I know 6 – beauty & the beast, gremlins, buffy (of course I’d know that one ha ha!) Lotr, Ghostbusters, and idiocracy. I think I know 2 more… Rick & Morty and the legend of zelda breath of the wild. I suck lol
Oh! Jurassic park! I knew I knew that one!
Daaaaaaaaaaang good job! You have the current high score: 8 out of 33!
I feel like poffins are that cereal from kill bill. And you’re gonna have 30 comments all from me when my brain thinks of these things one at a time ha ha ha.
But also im sad that the Turducken sandwich didn’t make the list
Your score is… still 8/33. 😉
And the winner is… Melanie, with 8/33!
Here are the correct answers (I would have/did accept pretty liberal variations on the ones of these that are not specific shows/movies/video games):
Beans and rice – General personal finance reference
Civet coffee – It’s a real thing! Cats eat and poop coffee beans! (And I used to sell it at an old job)
Beef ragout with cheese soufflé – Movie: Beauty & the Beast
Chicken à la King – Movie: Aladdin
Alaskan king crab – Movie: Aladdin
Caesar salad – Movie: Aladdin
Roe – Caviar – get it, fish eggs?
Lime green Jell-O – Movie: Jurassic Park
Shawarma – Movie: The Avengers
Chocolate Schnecken – Movie: The Birdcage
Cup Noodles – Video Game: Final Fantasy XV
Copious meat skewers, mushroom skewers, and fried wild greens – Video Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Portion bread – Movie: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Crab Napoleon – Movie: Simply Irresistible
Chicken Paillard (well tenderized) – Movie: Simply Irresistible
Cricket protein – Another real thing! That I actually eat. This one was actually just true. THE COOKIES ARE SO GOOD.
Strawberry mango shakes – TV Show: Shirokuma Cafe
Sweetrolls – Video Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Chicken drumsticks (after midnight) – Movie: Gremlins
Swenson’s ice cream – Movie: The Goonies
Poffins – Video Game: Pokémon
Sweetum’s Sugar Splash (Child Size only) – TV Show: Parks & Rec
Doublemeat Medley – TV Show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Kälteen Bars – Movie: Mean Girls
Mudder’s Milk – TV Show: Firefly
Cram & Dandy Boy Apples – Video Game: Fallout
Tummy Tingling Tuchanka Sauce from Fishdog Food Factory – Video Game: Mass Effect
Egg-a-Mooby Muffin – Movie: Dogma
Cheesy Blasters (Thanks, Meat Cat!) – TV Show: 30 Rock
Elevensies – Book: The Lord of the Rings series
Chocolate fondue – Movie: Frozen
Stay Puft Marshmallows – Movie: Ghostbusters
Brawndo (it’s got electrolytes!) – Movie: Idiocracy (also would have accepted “hilarious internet meme videos”)
Thanks to everyone who played along (mostly on Twitter, heh!) but especially to Melanie – I’ll be in touch via email with the Amazon gift card!
We did something similar. Our grocery bill was getting out of hand and so were our waistlines, so we changed our diet to eat less meat, limited processed food and more salads, veggies and eggs. A few simple changes and we lost weight and reduced our food bill by a few hundred a month! Amazing.
Missed the challenge. Will be alert for the next one. Just had to comment and say Stephanie, the brilliance in your writing is quite baffling. Your blogs are quite enlightening yet with the perfect seasoning of intrigue and humor. Keep blessing us with your gift.
Hey first time commenting on the site! Totally got thrown for a loop by that challenge. Looks like it’s been settled, but glad to see Elder Scrolls, BOTW, and The Goonies got some representation.
I’m new to the term FIET diet, but I think I’ve practiced it to an extent. My favorite vegetable example is carrots. A whole bag of carrots costs $2 or less. It’s easy to gorge on them and some other fruit like an apple for dinner – all for basically no cost and no calories.
Other than that, my favorite is chicken. I can cook up enough to last for 5 meals the whole week, and it equates to about $2 per meal each day. I’m so used to it I barely deviate and have plenty to eat!